When you’re stressed you overeat, you don’t get as much quality sleep, and it takes away your energy. Stress happens to everyone but you can keep it in check, here’s how!
Knowing what stresses you out is your first step to dealing with stress before it gets the best of you. What makes you really stressed? Write down a list and plan ahead with a response to each stress trigger. As an example, if a certain family member always increases your stress levels when they call, a helpful trick is not to answer the phone right away. Instead, give yourself a few minutes to prepare mentally, distance yourself from the stress trigger, then call them back but put a timer on it, saying you were on your way out the door.
Another example might be that you’re always running late. There is a reason for this and you can overcome it. Think about your routine, maybe you don’t allow enough time to get from one place to another, maybe you are in the habit of staying up too late and sleeping in when you need to get up and get going. Part of overcoming stressful situations is preventing them as much as possible.
Keeping things in perspective and practicing gratitude during stress inducing moments is another method to help you lower your stress levels. When you feel yourself getting tense or agitated do a mental and physical check. Mentally ask yourself why you are agitated, if you feel you are overloaded with work, make a list of the tasks you need to do. Now do a physical check. Are your shoulders tense and raised? Stretch them up and then down and feel them land in a comfortable position. Do the same with your neck, turn your head slowly to each side, then move your head down, then up, this will stretch the muscles in your neck and help relax the area.
One key way to combat stress is to build in regular relaxation times throughout your day, and on your days/evenings off. When you’re busy its easy to forgo time to unwind, but if you want to prevent getting overworked, sick, and stressed you have to allow yourself the time to really relax.
Knowing your own personality is key to making sure you get the kind of relaxation that will really recharge your batteries. Introverts need alone time away from distractions and other people to really relax. While extroverts need to be with other people to feel that they have recharged. Click here for a little test if you’re not sure which personality type you are.
Finally I want to share some ideas on how to relax after a busy day to make sure the next day has minimal stress no matter what is thrown at you.
- Go for a 20 minute walk
- Brew yourself a pot of tea
- Make some popcorn and watch a funny movie
- Have dinner with some friends
- Go to bed earlier or have a nap
- Listen to some music while you get things ready for the next day
- Take a long hot bath
- Take your dog to the park
- Put on some comfy clothes (or your PJs) and read a good book
- Take a painting class
- Join a sports team
- Take up a new solo sport
- Do some baking
- Call a close friend and have a good catch up
- Write down what is stressing you out
- Do some creative writing
- Plan a holiday and visualise yourself taking it
- Take a day off and organise yourself
- Take a day off and do whatever you want
- Turn off all of your devices and have an offline evening
- Write a letter to a friend or relative who lives too far away for a visit
- Do some gardening
- Take a 10 minute break; have a herbal tea and practice your breathing (tips on de-stress breathing here)
- Sit somewhere quiet and think about the things you love and that make you happy
- Do some cleaning
- Have a cold drink and watch a show you love
- Head over to pinterest and daydream about summer
- Go swimming